Israeli Black Friday frenzy overwhelms credit card system
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Israeli Black Friday frenzy overwhelms credit card system

System struggles to deal with more than 10,000 transactions per minute; service eventually restored

Israeli shoppers descend on a mall for Black Friday November 23, 2018 (Screencapture/Ynet)
Israeli shoppers descend on a mall for Black Friday November 23, 2018 (Screencapture/Ynet)

A shopping frenzy temporarily overwhelmed the credit card system in Israel as locals embraced Black Friday with more than 10,000 transactions reported per minute.

Tens of thousands flocked to the malls, and others looked for deals online, swamping the credit system. Many retailers reported problems authorizing sales and slow connections.

According to Automatic Banking Systems, the company that processes the credit card transactions, the problems only affected a small portion of the sales, but they acknowledged that the system was overwhelmed by “unusual pressure” that topped 10,000 transactions per minute at one period.

“Fridays are generally considered busy for credit purchases in Israel, but the amount today was unusually large due to Black Friday,” ABS told the Ynet website.

ABS said that by afternoon everything was working normally.

Israeli shoppers descend on a mall for Black Friday November 23, 2018 (Screencapture/Ynet)

Black Friday, the US’s traditional post-Thanksgiving sales event is a recent import to Israel, where consumers first started taking advantage of internet sales. This year it also spread to retailers who have been offering hefty discounts to compete with foreign online sales.

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